You probably don’t think about your sinuses very often until they get clogged with mucus during cold and allergy season. But these meandering canals behind your nose, eyes, and cheeks may also come into play when you’re getting ready for certain dental procedures.
Dr. Caesar Sweidan and our expert team at St. Tammany Periodontics & Implants in Covington and Slidell, Louisiana, specialize in restorative dental services. Many of these services require the benefits of a sinus lift — a way to reposition collapsed sinuses and strengthen your upper jaw by adding new bone material to the area.
Here are five scenarios when a sinus lift may be necessary.
1. You lost a tooth
If you think a lost tooth is nothing more than a cosmetic issue, think again. Your oral cavity is an interconnected system that relies on the full functioning of each member.
For example, your jawbone relies on regular biting and chewing action to stimulate the bone growth cycle, which includes the removal of old bone tissue (resorption) and the addition of new bone tissue (ossification).
When one or more go missing, the pressure ceases and so does the bone rebuilding process.
Eventually, only resorption takes place, the bone deteriorates, and you lose valuable jawbone. Bone grafting and a sinus lift restore the integrity of your upper jaw and sinus cavity.
2. You need a dental implant
If you’ve lost a tooth in the upper back region of your mouth and need to replace it with a dental implant, your jawbone needs to be at least 4-6 mm thick to receive the titanium post that anchors the prosthetic inplace.
If your jaw is too close to your sinus cavity, we won’t be able to proceed with your implant procedure, so Dr. Sweidan performs a sinus lift and uses a bone graft to shift your sinuses upward.
3. You have severe gum disease
Even if you have all of your teeth and they’re relatively healthy, severe gum disease, also called periodontitis, can damage your jawbone tissue and cause your sinuses to collapse downward.
Periodontal disease also often leads to tooth loss or the need for a tooth extraction, which could put you in line for a sinus lift.
4. You lost your upper back molars
Your upper back molars attach to your jaw at the end of the line where the bone is naturally smaller and less dense to begin with. So if you lose one of those molars, you may lose some of your jawbone along with it and need a sinus lift to reposition your sinus cavity.
5. You were born with facial deformity
Certain congenital conditions can affect your sinus cavities. For example, a cleft palate or a cleft lip can interfere with the development of the sinuses, which means that a sinus lift may be necessary along with other restorative surgeries.
Do you need a sinus lift?
The only way to know for sure if you need a sinus lift is to talk to a medical or dental expert who specializes in diagnosing fallen sinuses and deficient jawbone thickness and density. Dr. Sweidan uses the latest technology to produce 3D digital images of your sinuses and arrive at an accurate diagnosis.
If he determines that you're a good candidate for the procedure, he starts by inserting the bone grafting material into the space between your jawbone and sinus cavity to reinforce your bone and lift your sinuses.
Then he injects a serum derived from a small sample of your own blood to accelerate the healing and stimulate new bone growth.
To find out if a sinus lift is right for you, contact us today at either of our two locations to set up a consultation with Dr. Sweidan.